Serpentine Pavilion 2021: Fragments

Designed by Sumayya Vally, Counterspace
Offsite 11 Jun — 31 Oct 2021 Free

For the first time in the history of the Serpentine Pavilion commission, four Fragments of the Serpentine Pavilion 2021 designed by Sumayya Vally, Counterspace are placed in partner organisations whose work has inspired its design. They are located in New Beacon Books in Finsbury Park, one of the first Black publishers and booksellers in the UK; a multi-purpose venue and community hub The Tabernacle in Notting Hill; arts centre the Albany in Deptford, and the new Becontree Forever Arts and Culture Hub at Valence Library in Barking and Dagenham, which was established this year to commemorate the centenary of the UK’s largest council housing estate. The Fragments support the everyday operations of these organisations while enabling and honouring gatherings of local communities that they have supported for years. A gesture of decentralising architecture to include a multitude of voices, the Fragments extend out into the city the principals on which the Pavilion was designed.

The Fragment at New Beacon Books offers an additional space to display books and a seat for customers to browse through them. Additionally, it can also be used as a stage for a reading, lecture or spoken-word performance. At the Albany, the Fragment extends the seating area in the garden for quiet reflection and can also function as a stage for intimate performances. The Fragment at the Tabernacle offers an additional seating area for people to enjoy and share a meal from the Tabernacle restaurant. Additionally, it can be used as a stage for small performances. At Valence Library the Fragment has been designed to be used flexibly, as one structure or divided into smaller sections to respond to the needs of recordings made for the new radio station Becontree Broadcasting. It can also become part of the daily operations of the Valence Library.

An additional Fragment is temporarily on view in Regent’s Park from 14 September to 31 October 2021 as part of Frieze Sculpture. The Fragment’s design responds to the surrounding park and facilitates different types of gatherings.

Located on the grounds of Serpentine in Kensington Gardens, the Pavilion’s design is based on past and present places of meeting, organising and belonging across several London neighbourhoods significant to diasporic and cross-cultural communities. The forms in the Pavilion are a result of abstracting, superimposing and splicing elements from architectures that vary in scales of intimacy, translating the shapes of London into the Pavilion structure.

Fragment of Serpentine Pavilion 2021 designed by Sumayya Vally, Counterspace for The Albany
© Counterspace Photo: George Darrell


Douglas Way, London SE8 4AG
Opening times: Monday – Friday 10am – 2pm

The Albany is an arts centre contributing to the cultural, social and economic benefit of Southeast London by celebrating creativity and diversity within the community. Shaping activity in response to the needs of the community, the Albany has created: youth programmes, artist development programmes, Family Arts Campaigns and a gardening club, expanding ways in which local people can engage with the arts and culture as part of their daily lives. Their year-round programme of live shows and events include music, theatre, spoken word, and family performance that are reflective of the diversity of Lewisham and the local area.

For full programme of shows, events and activities please visit

Fragment of Serpentine Pavilion 2021 designed by Sumayya Vally, Counterspace for New Beacon Books
© Counterspace Photo: George Darrell


76 Stroud Green Road, London N4 3EN
Opening times: Friday – Saturday 12pm – 6pm

Founded in 1966 by John La Rose and his partner Sarah White, New Beacon Books, was the UK’s first Black publisher, specialist bookshop and international book distributor. For over 50 years New Beacon Books has made poetry, literature, non-fiction, history and children’s books from Africa, Caribbean, Asia, African America, Europe, South America and Black Britain available to various communities. Voluntary work from the community has sustained New Beacon throughout the years and recently a new generation of social media activists, students, educationalist, parents and children have shown interest in its work.


Fragment of Serpentine Pavilion 2021 designed by Sumayya Vally, Counterspace for The Tabernacle
© Counterspace Photo: George Darrell


34-35 Powis Square, London W11 2AY
Opening times: Monday – Sunday 9am – 1.0.30pm

The Tabernacle is a multi-dimensional venue and home to Notting Hill Carnival. Previously a Victorian Church, The Tabernacle was refurbished and converted to serve the secular needs of the local community in 1970s; housing performances, launches, conferences and social occasions in their bar, kitchen and garden. Over the years The Tabernacle has hosted many music artists such as: Adele, Ellie Goulding, Brian Eno, Take That and Lilly Allen.

Opening times: Monday – Sunday 9am – 10.30pm


Fragment of Serpentine Pavilion 2021 designed by Sumayya Vally, Counterspace for Valence Library
© Counterspace Photo: George Darrell


Becontree Ave, Dagenham RM8 3HT
Opening times: Monday & Thursday, 10am4pm

The Arts and Culture Hub at Valence Library is a creative space open to all as a base for workshops, talks and activities on the Becontree Estate available for individual residents of the estate, as well as local cultural organisations. Important to supporting the local arts ecosystem on the ground, the Hub provides rehearsal, meeting and performance space for community organisers, curators, socially engaged practitioners and artists to develop unique pieces and activities that emerge directly from the experiences of residents of the area, both past and present.

The Hub is also the home of a growing reference art library with artist catalogues donated by museums, galleries and artists from across the UK, and Becontree Broadcasting Station –a project undertaken in partnership with Serpentine and our inaugural artist-in-residence Joe Namy, which will see the development of a new community radio facility directly from the estate.


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